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Old 08-17-2002, 09:50 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zooropa
Homosexuality is not a choice, so if infact God created all living things, he purposely created homosexuals.
by this same logic, God also "created" newborns with heart defects and other devastating abnoralities in health...that's not to say we embrace and celebrate those "inherent" things...we don't just sit back and allow these things to run their course. in my opinion, individuals wanting or engaging in fornification with the same sex (because of a supposedly "natural" inclination or by choice) have a defect/abnorality.

if you choose to believe that homosexuals are "born" that way, and if you know anything about the God of Christianity, it would be false to claim that He "purposely" instills or creates an inclination in men for something in which He clearly condemns. If you are familiar with the Bible, you also know about the Fall of man, in which descendants of Adam and Eve would be plagued with all sorts of disease (inclusive of the mind and hearts of men). so you cannot claim that He brings about or "creates" these abominations.

if God is in fact perfectly okay with homosexuality--wow, it's pretty damn unfair that He never blessed these individuals with the ability to pro-create, isn't it? Now that would be pretty unjust for God to have such favor with only those who engage in heterosexual fornification...wouldn't it? The God i know and believe in is far from unjust.
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Old 08-17-2002, 10:03 PM   #22
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Is being gay natural? i dont think so

is being gay wrong? no

is it a sin? maybe, but who really has the list of sins

does a gay person fell atracted sexually to another (wo)man or do they love them from the heart or both?

Do you love your best friend?

Would you have sex with them?

What i think that gay men must like to have sex with eachother.
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Old 08-17-2002, 10:04 PM   #23
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Ok just stop.
Guys/Girls..
See once you start saying or making a correlation between ppl w heart defects and ppl having homosexual tendencies having a "defect"" you WILL ignite a war here.
It will become ugly..

Can we just be inclusionary here?
As Bono is inclusionary?

Thanks-
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Old 08-17-2002, 10:11 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by diamond
Ok just stop.
Guys/Girls..
See once you start saying or making a correlation between ppl w heart defects and ppl having homosexual tendencies having a "defect"" you WILL ignite a war here.
It will become ugly..

As someone with a heart defect, I must agree. What I have was corrected by surgery. I don't feel gay people have anything that needs to be "corrected." Let's not get ugly.
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Old 08-17-2002, 10:33 PM   #25
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Originally posted by U2Bama
And to say "if you can't take the heat, get out of FYM" is a trite contradiction, isn't it? we all know that this place is ideally about free speech and the open exchange of ideas, then shouldn't someone such as Trip be allowed to point out that certain religions do consider homosexuality, fornication, beer-drinking, polyester clothing, and eating pork a sin, without her being labelled as "phobic" of such indulgences?

Just a thought for you to ponder.

~U2Alabama
But no one is stopping Trip from saying whatever she believes. She's perfectly allowed to say it. Neither me nor any of the other mods edited or deleted her post, so she has been allowed to say her peace just as freely as everyone else. It's not our problem that she happens to be in the minority. If she doesn't want to be in the minority on this one, she can:

1.) Try to round up some other more conservative posters to support her; OR
2.) Post about this on a different forum in which she'll likely have more supporters.

As for her being labeled "phobic," well, that all depends on your definition. Some people feel that labeling homosexuals as "deviants" or "sinners" in their own category qualifies as homophobic. I leave it up to all of you to decide what homophobia is, but I hate when people seem to believe that gay people are somehow worse sinners (if homosexuality or homosexual acts are in fact sins at all, which I don't believe they are) than the rest of us. It's homophobia in my book.
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Old 08-17-2002, 10:44 PM   #26
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Sorry; I just found the
Quote:
Originally posted by paxetaurora
If you can't take the heat, get out of FYM.
statement to be an open invitation for people to flame Trip and call her names just for posting a question she had.

In divisive threads on other topics, there have been instances of someone posting a controversial viewpoint, opinion, theory or whatever, and someone else, be they conservative, liberal, etc., says "that is offensive" and people start running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

I think it can go both ways on any topic.

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Old 08-17-2002, 10:53 PM   #27
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Point taken. Myself and the other mods will make every attempt to ascertain that no one is abused for their viewpoints.

Carry on, I'm going to bed. I have a wicked headache.
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Old 08-17-2002, 10:59 PM   #28
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Sleep well, and I hope the headache goes away.
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Old 08-17-2002, 11:00 PM   #29
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Yes...

Quote:
Originally posted by Bono's American Wife


As someone with a heart defect, I must agree. What I have was corrected by surgery. I don't feel gay people have anything that needs to be "corrected." Let's not get ugly.
Exactly.

Someone said, "Is homosexuality natural" and answered their own question with "no". I personally don't see why homosexuality isn't considered "natural" by some people, but that's just me. *shrugs*

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Old 08-18-2002, 02:39 AM   #30
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If homosexuality is a sin, then God sure did create an awful lot of us with sins. Sin under the biblical definition exists in most of us in one way. How many suffer the unfortunate defect of pride? I do. Lust. I am guilty. Why do we place homosexuality as a sin, in worse esteem than others? Why do we single it out over so many that fall into black and white sins set out by God?

While it is fantastic that people can be honest enough with themselves and others to voice their disagreement with it, lets not elevate it to some kind of super sin status.
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Old 08-18-2002, 09:04 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally posted by TripThruUreWires
in my opinion, individuals wanting or engaging in fornification with the same sex (because of a supposedly "natural" inclination or by choice) have a defect/abnorality.
Trip,
Here's something that's not making sense to me. See just a couple of posts back you described my comments as "f---ed up" as well as "rash" and "idiotic." All because I said I think those who say homosexuality is a sin are homophobic. You said that you're not homophobic, and yet here you are claiming that lesbians and gay men have a "defect/abnormality." If I said that everyone who's a Republican, for example, was abnormal then I'd expect to get accused of showing contempt for Republicans. If I said anyone who's a Christian has a "defect" then I'd rightly be accused of showing contempt for Christians.

So why is it different when we're talking about homosexuality? If someone says it's abnormal to be gay then they're saying it's wrong, it's not normal. That IS homophobic. That's saying if the person you love is the same sex as you then there's something wrong with that love. That's saying to the thirteen year old who's confused by why he likes other boys when all his friends are chasing after the girls that there's something wrong with the way he feels, that he's abnormal, that he has a defect.

And while we're on the subject, I've never understood those who say people "choose" to be gay. I'm sure people are just queuing up to experience first-hand how much homophobia there is in society. I'm sure they can't wait to find out how hard it is to keep your sexuality a secret at work because you might get fired if your boss finds out that you're gay. I'm sure people can't wait to have homophobic abuse shouted at them when they walk down the street with their partner. I'm sure they love trying to keep their personal life a secret from their family because they're afraid they'll be rejected.

Did anyone here who's heterosexual choose to like people of the opposite sex? Was it a conscious decision you made? No? Then why on earth does anyone assume it's a choice to be gay?
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Old 08-18-2002, 10:06 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally posted by TripThruUreWires
by this same logic, God also "created" newborns with heart defects and other devastating abnoralities in health...that's not to say we embrace and celebrate those "inherent" things...
By this same logic, God also "created" left-handedness...we just don't sit back and that's not to say we embrace and celebrate those "inherent' things...

BTW, in the 1950s, my left-handed uncle was berated and forced to write with his right-hand, because it went contrary to society's concept of "normal." Not every variance in human nature must be so drastic. Homosexuality is nothing like potentially fatal heart defects.

Regardless, the issue of fatal/non-fatal/curable/non-curable is a non-issue. In fact, there are a *lot* of heart defects that are *still* incurable. Now are these individuals with these heart defects now sinful, because they cannot cure themselves and become "normal"? Are they now less worthy of life, liberty, and happiness? Humans are amazingly adaptable in the face of variance, and homosexuals are no different. But who is there to stand in the way? Those proverbial "right-handed" people, who compulsively insist on uniformity.

Quote:
we don't just sit back and allow these things to run their course. in my opinion, individuals wanting or engaging in fornification with the same sex (because of a supposedly "natural" inclination or by choice) have a defect/abnorality.
If God insisted on perfection, he wouldn't have created the process of conception and development of a zygote into a human as He did. Are you familiar with how we are developed? Here's a crash course:

As a zygote, a ball of cells after conception, we can get ripped apart, leading to identical twins. However, that ball of cells can also be ripped apart incompletely, leading to "Siamese Twins." There goes that first semblence of perfection...

As an embryo, we are visually identical to most mammals, complete with a tail, eight or more nipples, and even gills I believe (don't quote me on this last one). But, most surprisingly, as embryos/early fetuses, we are true hermaphrodites, complete with a male and female reproductive system. Later on, this is where the XX/XY thing comes into play: the mother and you release several hormones, and, theoretically, the presence of a Y gene triggers the destruction of the female reproductive system and the lack of a Y gene triggers the destruction of the male reproductive system. However, this is not a simple process. The mother may not release all the right hormones, as she might have a genetic mutation that prevents this hormone release. The fetus, itself, might have a mutation that prevents it from receiving a hormone or hormones. Hence, you have everything from pseudohermaphrodism to the XY female, and, yes, these are more common than you'd like to think. And, no, the XY female is incurable. Essentially, this process is dependent on all factors coordinating at once with the proper genetic receptors, because once this moment is passed, there is no return.

Quote:
if you choose to believe that homosexuals are "born" that way, and if you know anything about the God of Christianity, it would be false to claim that He "purposely" instills or creates an inclination in men for something in which He clearly condemns. If you are familiar with the Bible, you also know about the Fall of man, in which descendants of Adam and Eve would be plagued with all sorts of disease (inclusive of the mind and hearts of men). so you cannot claim that He brings about or "creates" these abominations.
Right here, you are a product of medieval Catholic stoic and Calvinist fundamentalist tradition, whether you are conscious of it or not. If you study the Bible closely in its translations over the centuries, you will actually find that it makes no mention of modern homosexuality. Sodom and Gomorrah, for instance, is interpreted over and over in the Old Testament as a sin against the hospitality towards strangers, which was an inviolable custom in ancient Judaism. Homosexuality is merely the device for violating Lot's guests; the actual sin was the violation, which could have been done in any fashion. A mirror of Sodom and Gomorrah takes place in Judges, with the city of Gibeah, but the difference is that it involves the protagonist giving a female concubine that is given to the mob, whom they rape and destroy. As a result of this violation, God commands the destruction of Gibeah. If this means anything sexual, God commands against rape of any sexuality.

Where did Sodom and Gomorrah's homosexual interpretation come from? The c. 200 B.C. apocryphal book, the Book of Jubilees, which, while not in our Bible, was found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, meaning that ancient Judaism read this book. Jesus, Himself, mentions "the sin of Sodom" once in the gospels, and it is over inhospitality towards strangers. This "homosexual interpretation" is a fallacy.

The "fall of Adam and Eve" is mostly an invention of the medieval Catholic stoics, such as St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. This was to reinvent the idea of original sin, which they created prior to condemn women. "Original sin," in its first incarnation, taught that all fetuses were inherently male, but that Satan came in and changed fetuses to make them female. As all fetuses must pass through an "evil" female, we were all in "original sin," which is washed away through baptism. The later Catholic Church changed "original sin" to mean "the sin of Adam and Eve," but, most importantly to them, "the sin of Eve," as an excuse to claim that women were everything from genetically evil to morally weak. Hmm...doesn't this remind you of some attitudes towards homosexuality? Overall, to me, this is tradition taken too far and is completely unsubstantiated in the Bible.

But does God hate loving same-sex relationships in the Bible? Not really. Take a close look at David and Jonathan in 1 and 2 Samuel. There is certainly no evidence of it ever being more than platonic, albeit some of the language in these very poetic books can imply a very erotic relationship at least. "Your love surpasses all women," as David says to Jonathan. I would certainly love some of these passages read at the pulpit sometime.

Quote:
if God is in fact perfectly okay with homosexuality--wow, it's pretty damn unfair that He never blessed these individuals with the ability to pro-create, isn't it? Now that would be pretty unjust for God to have such favor with only those who engage in heterosexual fornification...wouldn't it? The God i know and believe in is far from unjust.
First off, you are reflecting ancient Jewish tradition, which put such a burden on procreation that you weren't even a member of the religion unless you were married and with children. Jesus rejects this legalism clearly in the gospels, but this legalism was revived nonetheless with Christian tradition. Secondly, ancient church fathers (read: St. Paul) believed so wholeheartedly that Jesus had liberated them from the Jewish burden of marriage that they were even going to abolish the institution altogether. However, acknowledging that humans were imperfect, they kept it. Even at that, marriage in the first millennium of the Church was more of a private commitment between two people. The "cult of marriage" did not happen until c. 1100-1200, when the Catholic Church made it a full-fledged sacrament. So now are you saying that the first millennium of the Church are all fornicators? Interestingly enough, the evolution of marriage arose from God making a covenant....between David and Jonathan.

But speaking as "one of the defective" (), I don't need biological children. Seeing all the children out there abandoned by their parents, I wish to adopt someday. I do not need my specific genes propagated to feel whole. I was once angry at God...but mostly because of the hate levelled at me by my "fellow Christians." In fact, I feel blessed to be who I am. It has given me a perspective on life that I know I would not have taken the time to have had I been straight. Who knows...I may have turned into an apathetic Christian (because I am "so" comfortable in my early beliefs) in an unhappy marriage, like so many out there.

I believe it is due time to at least reevaluate your beliefs, because, as it stands, I believe many of them are based in flawed tradition, which isn't your fault. We speak of many "false prophets" in the Bible, and what a better way to propagate them by listening to our ministers and preachers as if they were infallible.

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Old 08-18-2002, 10:16 AM   #33
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Re: Re: Re: What's the deal?

Quote:
Originally posted by TripThruUreWires
btw, i do admire the way in which melon argues his points and presents his opinions (despite the fact that i may not agree with him at times). he's able to keep a cool head and maintain his dignity without compromising his argument, unlike some people here.
Thank you. I do try and keep a level head. Of course, I have also combatted this argument about 5-10 times since joining this forum, so I kind of have my arguments on this subject down to a science, knowing what to say and how to say it.

Take care...

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Old 08-18-2002, 11:15 AM   #34
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Right here, you are a product of medieval Catholic stoic and Calvinist fundamentalist tradition, whether you are conscious of it or not. If you study the Bible closely in its translations over the centuries, you will actually find that it makes no mention of modern homosexuality.
What about in Leviticus 20? In Leviticus 20 God prescribes captial punishment for adultery, incest, homosexuality and bestiality.

As Christians, we understand most of the Jewish laws of the Old Testament to be obsolete (e.g. laws against eating pork, eating milk and meat, shaving, wearing cotton-poly boxers, etc). We understand that the laws at the time were intended to distinguish the Jews (from whose lineage Jesus would come) from the other peoples of the world. But because of Acts 10-11 (where God appears to Peter in a dream and instructs him to eat all sorts of unclean animals) and Mark 7 (where Jesus explicitly states that all foods are 'clean'), we understand that these laws are now a hindrance to preaching the Gospel to non-Jews.

However, it seems strange to me that God would treat homosexuality as an obsolete kosher-type law when originally he prescribed capital punishment for it.

In Peter's vision, God didn't abolish the the laws against homosexuality.

In his earthly ministry, Jesus 'defiled' himself by healing a leper and was 'defiled' when a chronically hemmorrhaging woman touched him, thus demonstrating that the laws of ritual uncleanliness were obsolete as well (though there may have been some health value to those laws). He could have verbally annulled the law against homosexuality or taken in a gay man or woman as one of his disciples and settled the issue once and for all, but he didn't. (Gay Christians often note that Jesus never explicitly condemned homosexuality, but neither did he explicitly condone it.)

Finally, it seems to me that Paul is condemning all forms of homosexuality in Romans 1, not just promiscuous homosexuality.

What gives?
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Old 08-18-2002, 02:18 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by speedracer
What about in Leviticus 20? In Leviticus 20 God prescribes captial punishment for adultery, incest, homosexuality and bestiality.

As Christians, we understand most of the Jewish laws of the Old Testament to be obsolete (e.g. laws against eating pork, eating milk and meat, shaving, wearing cotton-poly boxers, etc). We understand that the laws at the time were intended to distinguish the Jews (from whose lineage Jesus would come) from the other peoples of the world. But because of Acts 10-11 (where God appears to Peter in a dream and instructs him to eat all sorts of unclean animals) and Mark 7 (where Jesus explicitly states that all foods are 'clean'), we understand that these laws are now a hindrance to preaching the Gospel to non-Jews.

However, it seems strange to me that God would treat homosexuality as an obsolete kosher-type law when originally he prescribed capital punishment for it.

In Peter's vision, God didn't abolish the the laws against homosexuality.

In his earthly ministry, Jesus 'defiled' himself by healing a leper and was 'defiled' when a chronically hemmorrhaging woman touched him, thus demonstrating that the laws of ritual uncleanliness were obsolete as well (though there may have been some health value to those laws). He could have verbally annulled the law against homosexuality or taken in a gay man or woman as one of his disciples and settled the issue once and for all, but he didn't. (Gay Christians often note that Jesus never explicitly condemned homosexuality, but neither did he explicitly condone it.)

Finally, it seems to me that Paul is condemning all forms of homosexuality in Romans 1, not just promiscuous homosexuality.

What gives?
First off, "ritual uncleanliness" is designated in Mosaic Law by the word, "toevah," which is harshly translated as "abomination." That's the first problem. Supposed condemnations of homosexuals in Leviticus fall under the "toevah" ritual condemnation. Homosexuality, as such, is no more "abominable" than wearing multi-fabric clothing or having acne. Most reform and conservative Jewish rabbis will be forced to admit that these "ritual purity" laws only applied to "the chosen people," e.g., the Jews. Gentiles, as they will mention, are not affected by these laws. Considering that most of us are Gentile Christians in origin, these passages are not even applied to us even by Judaism.

Secondly, you forget Acts 19:20, which directly contradicts your claim of only eliminating "ritual" Mosaic Law.

Acts 19:20 -- It is my judgment, therefore, that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God, but tell them by letter to avoid pollution from idols, unlawful marriage, the meat of strangled animals, and blood.

Unfortunately, I must clarify further with the poor translation of "porneia," here translated as "unlawful marriage." "Porneia," the original word in the text, refers to blood mixing between relatives (mother, father, sister, brother, cousin, etc.), so it is better translated as "incest." Regardless, this book stops abruptly on the subject, implying that this debate was complete. In fact, this compromise judgment between St. Peter's Jewish-minded Church of Jerusalem, which insisted on continuing the Mosaic Law, and St. Paul's Gentile-minded Church of Antioch, was never enacted. The two churches continued squabbling, until the Church of Antioch's effective destruction of the Church of Jerusalem. St. Paul and his followers continued to preach the obsolescence of the entire Mosaic Law, teaching instead the liberation of Jesus' Golden Rule ("Love one another"), and the Church of Antioch developed into what we now call the Catholic Church. Catholicism continues to teach the obsolescence of the Mosaic Law, but it is Calvinism that created this arbitrary distinction between ritual and actual Mosaic Law, likely to foster its belief that the Bible is inerrant.

Third, the passage in question in Leviticus is dubious itself. Considering that the modern concept of a homosexual didn't exist until the 1870s in Germany, it has always been unlikely that it referred to homosexuality as we know it. An analysis of the original Hebrew confirms this:

Leviticus 18:22: "You shall not lie with a male as those who lie with a female; it is an abomination."

Now to reduce the key words back to their original translation:

"'Ish' shall not lie with 'zakar' as those who lie with 'ishah'. It is 'toevah'"

Ish = husband
Ishah = wife
Toevah = ritual condemnation

The dubious word in question is "zakar." If the writers insisted on making it a blanket condemnation of same sex relations, it would have said "'Ish' shall not lie with 'ish.'" Instead, it uses the more dubious "zakar," which is believed to be a word in reference to a male temple prostitute, as this was a very popular cult ritual back then. Again, the question is whether this passage is in blanket condemnation of homosexual activity or the pagan implication it had to have sex with a male temple prostitute, as it was the belief of these pagan religions that to be close to the gods was to engage in large temple orgies. These, however, were not wholly homosexual in activity, but, rather, bisexual.

My point is that the passages you referenced to are poorly translated and poorly understood at best. An analysis of the original language, along with analysis of modern Jewish interpretation, shows that these passages were written for different purposes than what they are translated as now.

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Old 08-18-2002, 02:25 PM   #36
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And here's an interesting Bible passage:

2 Peter 3:16-18 -- "Paul wrote things hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable distort, as they do the rest of scripture, to their own destruction! You, therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled people, you fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to whom is the glory, both now and to the day of eternity Amen."

How prophetic St. Peter was indeed.

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Old 08-18-2002, 02:43 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


Sodom and Gomorrah, for instance, is interpreted over and over in the Old Testament as a sin against the hospitality towards strangers, which was an inviolable custom in ancient Judaism. Homosexuality is merely the device for violating Lot's guests; the actual sin was the violation, which could have been done in any fashion. A mirror of Sodom and Gomorrah takes place in Judges, with the city of Gibeah, but the difference is that it involves the protagonist giving a female concubine that is given to the mob, whom they rape and destroy. As a result of this violation, God commands the destruction of Gibeah. If this means anything sexual, God commands against rape of any sexuality.


Melon
Melon makes many great points once again. Due to the incredible crappiness of my computer, I'm gonna let this webpage speak for me. Check it out, it offers an enlightening discussion different ways on interpreting the bible's stance on homosexuality. i think what it makes clear though, is that it isn't "God" that has an opinion on such matters, but rather those who interpret "The Word".


http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibl.htm
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Old 08-18-2002, 03:23 PM   #38
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this has turned in to quite an interesting discussion and melon, you've definitely brought some new things to the table I wasn't aware of.

Forgive me if this has been mentioned [I don't believe it has yet] but many people misinterpret the Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality. The Catholic Church has come out and officially said there is nothing wrong with people who are homosexuals. In fact, they acknowledge that there are homosexuals who are outstanding examples of what it means to be a Catholic. The Church itself only condemns homosexual acts. Of course, that does mean that if you are homosexual, you're not able to practice it which is in a sense denying part of your sexuality [regardless of orientation].
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Old 08-18-2002, 05:17 PM   #39
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Quote:
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First off, "ritual uncleanliness" is designated in Mosaic Law by the word, "toevah," which is harshly translated as "abomination." That's the first problem. Supposed condemnations of homosexuals in Leviticus fall under the "toevah" ritual condemnation. Homosexuality, as such, is no more "abominable" than wearing multi-fabric clothing or having acne.
But...why then is capital punishment prescribed for the offenses in Leviticus 20? Seems to me that these offenses are regarded as belonging to a different class of no-nos from mere "toevah".

Quote:

Secondly, you forget Acts 19:20, which directly contradicts your claim of only eliminating "ritual" Mosaic Law.

Acts 19:20 -- It is my judgment, therefore, that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God, but tell them by letter to avoid pollution from idols, unlawful marriage, the meat of strangled animals, and blood.

Unfortunately, I must clarify further with the poor translation of "porneia," here translated as "unlawful marriage." "Porneia," the original word in the text, refers to blood mixing between relatives (mother, father, sister, brother, cousin, etc.), so it is better translated as "incest." Regardless, this book stops abruptly on the subject, implying that this debate was complete. In fact, this compromise judgment between St. Peter's Jewish-minded Church of Jerusalem, which insisted on continuing the Mosaic Law, and St. Paul's Gentile-minded Church of Antioch, was never enacted. The two churches continued squabbling, until the Church of Antioch's effective destruction of the Church of Jerusalem. St. Paul and his followers continued to preach the obsolescence of the entire Mosaic Law, teaching instead the liberation of Jesus' Golden Rule ("Love one another"), and the Church of Antioch developed into what we now call the Catholic Church. Catholicism continues to teach the obsolescence of the Mosaic Law, but it is Calvinism that created this arbitrary distinction between ritual and actual Mosaic Law, likely to foster its belief that the Bible is inerrant.
I think you mean Acts 15:20, not Acts 19:20.

And the distinction between "ritual" and "actual" Mosaic law does not seem entirely arbitrary to me, given that there are elements of Mosaic law that we think are perfectly good. Paul and the Church of Antioch certainly would not have proclaimed the Ten Commandments as obsolete. (They might have relaxed the restrictions on Sabbath labor, but they would certainly agree with the intent of the Fourth Commandment.)

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Third, the passage in question in Leviticus is dubious itself. Considering that the modern concept of a homosexual didn't exist until the 1870s in Germany, it has always been unlikely that it referred to homosexuality as we know it. An analysis of the original Hebrew confirms this:

Leviticus 18:22: "You shall not lie with a male as those who lie with a female; it is an abomination."

Now to reduce the key words back to their original translation:

"'Ish' shall not lie with 'zakar' as those who lie with 'ishah'. It is 'toevah'"

Ish = husband
Ishah = wife
Toevah = ritual condemnation

The dubious word in question is "zakar." If the writers insisted on making it a blanket condemnation of same sex relations, it would have said "'Ish' shall not lie with 'ish.'" Instead, it uses the more dubious "zakar," which is believed to be a word in reference to a male temple prostitute, as this was a very popular cult ritual back then. Again, the question is whether this passage is in blanket condemnation of homosexual activity or the pagan implication it had to have sex with a male temple prostitute, as it was the belief of these pagan religions that to be close to the gods was to engage in large temple orgies. These, however, were not wholly homosexual in activity, but, rather, bisexual.
But from the context of the rest of Leviticus 18 and 20 (which appear to be blanket prohibitions of bestiality and incest) I think that the blanket prohibition of homosexuality is the correct interpretation.
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Old 08-18-2002, 06:11 PM   #40
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Originally posted by speedracer
But...why then is capital punishment prescribed for the offenses in Leviticus 20? Seems to me that these offenses are regarded as belonging to a different class of no-nos from mere "toevah".
Capital punishment is prescribed for many offenses in this book, which we wouldn't imagine prescribing capital offenses for today.

But here you are quoting the Mosaic Law, yet again.

Galatians 3:10-14: "For all who depend on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, 'Cursed be everyone who does not persevere in doing all the things written in the book of the law.' And that no one is justified before God by the law is clear, for 'the one who is righteous by faith will live.' But the law does not depend on faith; rather, "the one who does these things will live by them." Christ ransomed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written, 'Cursed be everyone who hangs on a tree,' that the blessing of Abraham might be extended to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."

I wish the Church fathers had cast aside the Old Testament as they originally planned, instead naively believing that everyone would see the OT for what they saw it as: a background reference text to the New Testament. Even conservative Judaism cast aside the Mosaic Law during the medieval Talmudic period. As I've read, the writers of the Mosaic Law were not mainstream Jews, but a fanatical splinter group, which is why I believe the Talmuds spent so much time voiding the Mosaic Law. It would perhaps be comparable to people 2500 years later taking the texts of David Koresh and believing them to be representative of all of Christianity.

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I think you mean Acts 15:20, not Acts 19:20.
A typo it was.

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And the distinction between "ritual" and "actual" Mosaic law does not seem entirely arbitrary to me, given that there are elements of Mosaic law that we think are perfectly good. Paul and the Church of Antioch certainly would not have proclaimed the Ten Commandments as obsolete. (They might have relaxed the restrictions on Sabbath labor, but they would certainly agree with the intent of the Fourth Commandment.)
Romans 13:8-10: "Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law."

Galatians 5:1-5: "For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. It is I, Paul, who am telling you that if you have yourselves circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. Once again I declare to every man who has himself circumcised that he is bound to observe the entire law. You are separated from Christ, you who are trying to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we await the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love."

To St. Paul, the entire Mosaic Law, including the Ten Commandments, were replaced upon Jesus' creation of His only commandment, "Love God and love one another." Why we feel that the Ten Commandments still have relevance today is because they are indeed fulfillment of Jesus' commandment. Worrying about commands against shellfish and multi-fabric clothing, in contrast, do nothing to reveal the nature of one's love for God or one another--in fact, they do nothing--and that is why they are obsolete.

So why the Mosaic Law?

Galatians 3:19: "Why, then, the law? It was added for transgressions, until the descendant [Jesus Christ] came to whom the promise had been made; it was promulgated by angels at the hand of a mediator."

And even St. Paul must admit that the Bible is not literal in all points, but symbolic:

Galatians 4:22-26: "For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the freeborn woman. The son of the slave woman was born naturally, the son of the freeborn through a promise. Now this is an allegory. These women represent two covenants. One was from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; this is Hagar. Hagar represents Sinai, a mountain in Arabia; it corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery along with her children. But the Jerusalem above is freeborn, and she is our mother."

So do you really believe that much in the Mosaic Law?

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But from the context of the rest of Leviticus 18 and 20 (which appear to be blanket prohibitions of bestiality and incest) I think that the blanket prohibition of homosexuality is the correct interpretation.
A blanket prohibition of homosexuality? No. A blanket prohibition of heterosexual people performing homosexual acts? Perhaps. Seeing the ancient view of homosexual acts, which involved rape, humiliation, adultery, idolatry, and violation, it is no wonder they might have viewed it in this manner. Living in the context of modern homosexuality and applying it to "Love one another," I can easily see why a monogamous, loving, same-sex relationship would please God.

I believe that I have, indeed, stated my opinions. Those who wish to follow parts of the Mosaic Law, by all means, follow your conscience. If, indeed, you wish to cast upon yourself "the yoke of slavery," as St. Paul affectionately refers to it, then please, be my guest.

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